Water oxidation: From mechanisms to limitations
Review article, 2018

Water oxidation is a central reaction for energy conversion and storage. On the basis of the detailed analysis of different reaction mechanisms the limitations associated with the O2evolution reaction is analysed. We find that overpotentials lower than the 0.4 eV, which have been observed for a mono-nuclear mechanism, are possible if the problematic *-OOH intermediate is avoided. This is the case for the bi-nuclear and bi-functional reaction paths. 3-dimensional volcano plots are constructed and used to explore the performance of these reaction mechanisms. Our results suggest, that in contrast to previous analysis of the mono-nuclear mechanism, the true top of the water oxidation volcano is placed at slightly lower *=O binding energies of only 2.46 eV if combined with a suitable co-catalyst. On the basis of this new analysis, design criteria for improved catalysts are developed.

Oxygen Evolution Reaction

Volcano Plots

Reaction Mechanisms

Water Oxidation


Michael Busch

Chalmers, Physics, Chemical Physics

Current Opinion in Electrochemistry

2451-9103 (ISSN) 2451-9111 (eISSN)

Vol. 9 278-284

Subject Categories

Inorganic Chemistry

Physical Chemistry

Other Chemical Engineering

Theoretical Chemistry



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9/1/2018 9